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  1. DarkIntuition
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    DarkIntuition Member

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    Sometimes the simplest thing can be the hardest

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by DarkIntuition, Dec 15, 2010.

    Hello everyone and thank you for taking the time to ready my post. I have always had a love for writing whether it be poems or novels, RPG's to character development. But I face a problem that probably is very noticeable right off the bat. I don't have a real extensive knowledge or experience on how to write properly. As a child I missed a lot of school due to medical issues and I recieved my GED when I was 16 and dropped out. Even on my GED scores my creative writing was top notch, or so the teacher said but my reading and writing (punctuation, spelling etc) was below average.

    I find this to be very discouraging and more often than not it pushes me away from taking my writing seriously. To me writing is something more than telling a good story or trying to be competitive, it is something that is personal and something that allows me to experience things that in real life I may never be able to experience except through words. I feel dumb saying this but I have to go to google most the time to remember what an adjective is, forget the fact that I don't know how to use them correctly because I don't even know what they mean most the time. Now I am not here for you to tell me what an adjective is obviously, I am here to ask you the community for assistance in this matter. As I do not have the financial means to go back to school nor in my current health could I possibly attempt it, but I am willing to study information or tutorials you may provide for me to better my writing and extend my vocabulary.

    I am always passionate about learning more in the art of what I love and I love to write. Thank you for your time
     
  2. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Practice, practice, practice - as the old joke says.

    -Frank
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Frank is right - I have a university education and my punctuation still stinks. My grammar and spelling are fine. However over the past 6 months it has improved - even beginning to get the hang of commas.

    Get a decent punctuation book, read it and practice.
     
  4. DarkIntuition
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    DarkIntuition Member

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    I wouldn't mind practicing if I knew what I should be practicing on (if that makes any sense) I feel like I am trying to find my way out of a cave with no light to guide me. Where do I begin, what steps should I take to further my knowledge?
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Find a punctuation book you like it is something I would go into a shop if one is available flick through them - and then work through it.
     
  6. DarkIntuition
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    DarkIntuition Member

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    Thank you for the tip I will definitely do that. I am new to the area but I do believe we have a Barnes and Nobles in the area ill start there
     
  7. enhucs
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    enhucs New Member

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    I would "glad-fully" agree with this...
     
  8. enhucs
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    enhucs New Member

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    I own over 200 books of the like, but focus my interests on, "On the Art of Writing" and "The Elements of Style"
     
  9. Clumsywordsmith
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    Clumsywordsmith Active Member

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    I cannot overemphasize the simple fact that reading good literature is the absolute best way to improve one's writing ability. Really, that is the beginning and the end of it. You can read as many manuals of grammar and style as you like, but absolutely nothing can substitute for intensive reading of the classics. Not even practise, as practising something which you understand poorly only leads to developing bad habits. Being an excellent writer is not all about conforming to rules and standards -- I mean, it's an art form, not just a craft! Become too caught up in the little details of grammar and you'll lose the ability to actually write well.

    Extensive reading will make such concepts as grammar entirely second nature, as oppose to rules which you must constantly be referring to.
     
  10. PurpleCandle
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    PurpleCandle Senior Member

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  11. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    I'm going to disagree with this,
    I've read some of the all time greats over and over

    yet i still suck at it


    thats not to say it dose not work
    i guess every one is defreint but for me reading books dose not help

    I used to get five or eight books and read them all

    I just stooped reading a while ago and I've gotten 999999 times better (I know where to put commas!!! sometimes)

    I got better by writing something over and over and over and over till i was sick of it
    then i changed it up and fixed it again and again
     
  12. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Judging by your posts you've got a voice that's worth reading, commas or not. Be glad you're only struggling with that part. Read the style guides but don't let them suffocate your own style, or intimidate you. If you can do that you'll be well on your way.
     
  13. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't worry too much about it. There are some successful authors who are severely dyslexic and who probably struggle a lot more than you do with spelling and punctuation. They get friends to correct their manuscripts. Yes, it makes writing harder for them, so the more you can overcome this the easier you are likely to find writing, but if you can't then there are ways of dealing with it.

    Certainly don't worry about not knowing what adjectives are. Technical terms like "adjective", "participle", "clause" and so on are useful when people communicate about writing, but they're almost completely irrelevant to actually doing the writing. A writer might advise you not to use many adverbs, and you might have trouble following the advice because you don't know which words are adverbs. But if you get a feel for when a passage is too "purple", too flowery, too gushy then job done. You will be avoiding using too many adverbs even if you don't know what an adverb is. If you can construct a sentence like "The tall man was wearing a black bowler hat" then you can use adjectives even if you don't know what they are.
     
  14. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is great advice.

    DarkIntuition, going by your posts I think your spelling et al is not bad at all.
    What do you write? Do you have something to share in the review room at some point? If so I'd gladly take a look at it.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    judging from the quality of your post, you don't need all that much help, DI...

    however, i mentor aspiring writers of all breeds, so if you want some mentoring/tutoring or whatever, just drop me a line any time...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  16. enhucs
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    enhucs New Member

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    The Norton Anthology of English Literature
     

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